Friendly Fires admit to 'boy band sound' on new album

  • 7 April 2011
  • From the section Music

Friendly Fires have described the sound of their new album Pala as being "at times like a boy band".

Lead singer Ed Macfarlane compared some of their latest material to "*NSYNC or Backstreet Boys but played with a breathless beat and weird guitar".

The trio, from St Albans, release the follow-up to their self-titled debut, called Pala, on 16 May.

It was recorded in Hertfordshire, Sussex, France and New York.

Very 'pop'

Macfarlane said that the new material was a change in sound from their first album, which landed them a Mercury Prize nomination in 2009.

"There were moments when we were recording where we were debating if it was sounding too poppy," said the frontman.

"As things progressed I think that's what I like most about this record. It sounds overtly sheeny and poppy to my ears. It's really unashamed."

Ed Macfarlane said that after 18 months work on the album he was glad it was complete and really proud with the result.

"It stands out from a lot of records," he said.

"It's what 2011 needs. It needs bright, uplifting, vibrant music. I felt in 2010 music was very black and white and the music was quite minimalist.

"Summer's coming and people need to hear something uplifting."

Touring break

Pala, produced by Paul Epworth, features 11 new tracks including single Live Those Days Tonight.

Early sessions took place in a basement in east London before the band returned to Macfarlane's garage studio in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

The band admitted they were pleased to take a break from touring in 2010.

"It was definitely a relief to say, 'Right this is it, first album done,'" said Macfarlane.

"It was the start of a new chapter. It was quite daunting going into the studio, like, 'How do I write music again?'"

Friendly Fires' second album Pala is released on 16 May.